-- In the only hard Bucco news of the day, Steve Pearce was given a fourth option year, covering 2011. It's doubtful that tidbit pleased him very much; it just means the Pirates can yo-yo him for one more season. It could come in handy for the FO, though, if his knee isn't 100% come spring camp and he needs to play himself into shape at Indy.
-- Pitchers that one media source or another have associated with the Buccos so far: Hiroki Kuroda, Jorge de la Rosa, Justin Duchscherer, Kevin Millwood and Kevin Correia.
-- Adrian Beltre as a rumor is swell. On a level playing field, he would fill a Bucco need, being a power hitting 3B with a solid mitt. But let's get real.
Beltre turned down a $10M option already, and has Scott Boras for his agent. He's easily the top third baseman on the market, and will be looking at multi-year offers for longer and more bucks than Pittsburgh will - or should - give, especially with Anthony Rendon in their sights. And he'll cost them a second-round pick in the draft. But hey, a phone call and a little good pub for a change can't hurt the cause.
We still think any extra money will go to a second-tier pitcher and either a corner OF/1B type, preferably RH, or a SS. They could get creative and bid on 26 year old Japanese batting champ (.346) Tsuyoshi Nishioka, a switch-hitting SS who hopes to be posted soon.
-- Clint Hurdle gets his Met interview tomorrow. He's not one of the names the media tout as a top candidate, but if he becomes a finalist, Pittsburgh may have to wait until Thanksgiving or later to name a skipper.
-- Al Oliver is one of a dozen players on the ballot for Hall of Fame expansion era (Veterans) ballot. He needs 12 votes of 16 cast to earn a bust. Scoops hit for a .303 BA with 219 HR and 1,326 RBI during an 18 year career.
-- Chuck Finder, who covered the Bucs as Dejan Kovacevic's Post-Gazette sidekick, is leaving the paper. No word on his future plans.